Thursday, April 23, 2009

Birthdays for all!!

Dash's friends Caroline, Matthew, Katie, and Devin all had a joint birthday party this past weekend. Caroline's mom took the reins on the party preparation and went all out! She ought to consider planning children's parties as a career, because her enthusiasm and joy showed in every element, from the laminated names on the party tent, the elaborate catering (one sheet cake per child), the clown, the bubble machine, to the moonbounce with slide. Oh, and the goody bags were amazing!! Just a warning to all, Dash's birthday will not have this sort of production value.

There was an excellent (and very patient) clown, who took balloon sculpture requests after his performance. He made some fabulous motorcycles and after showing a lovely rendition of Ariel the mermaid, the real challenges started. A few girls asked for other Disney princesses, then Rosie asked for Jasmine. He'd never had a request for Jasmine, so he winged it. Rosie was delighted!

Dash also made a request that the clown had never tried: an "elephant face." He took it a step further and gave Dash a hat!! Dash loved it, but the hat didn't stay on for long.

Both of my kids tried the moonbounce AFTER the call for cake. I say after, because cake time cleared out the area. They were wary of the moonbounce when full of kids, but once empty? They were all over it!

Dash made friends with a very, very ancient Yorkie and followed the poor, hobbling thing around for most of the party, trying to feed it cheese cubes. I asked the owner if this was okay, and she told me, sure, and he'd probably just throw it all up later. Wow, that's one dedicated dog owner!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tact and Etiquette are not my strong suits, either.

Tact and Etiquette
Originally uploaded by Valentinian
[This is a testament to how wonderful and civilized our dinner guests normally are, to have this one unusual situation set me off, don't you think? :-)]

A few notes to a 20-something male friend who doesn't read my blog:

When your hostess, who has been working all day to prepare for you and other guests and has two small children to entertain, greets you at the door but neglects to introduce herself properly, please don't rudely bring this to her attention by announcing to the room, "I don't even know you!"

Also, immediately slinking off to the back yard alone for half an hour after refusing all offers of refreshments could be considered rude.

If polite conversation about your upcoming move includes attempts to look on the bright side of a poor location, such as, "oh, but the cost of living will be so much lower in [BFE]!" a response such as, "I'm doing just fine providing for my family right here in [Metro area]" might come off as defensive.

Or, a kind suggestion that now would be a perfect time to go back to school and get your degree (if that is what's holding your career back), as maturity does improve one's work ethic, ought not be met with rolled eyes and laughter.

Your compliments on the meal that was served were appreciated, but departing before the dessert course without taking your leave of the host and hostess are difficult to reconcile.

I am often acutely aware that my own manners are subpar, but it's encounters like this that behoove me to impart some higher sense of proper behavior with my own children. Frankly, this encounter left me uncomfortable and slightly upset. I'm almost certain that this guest wasn't truly attempting to offend me. Almost.

Farewell young friend, and we hope you enjoy your time in BFE.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

At Becky & Ryan's wedding in NJ

Becky & Ryan had a lovely wedding at Congress Hall in Cape May, NJ. It was a beautiful location and we enjoyed every minute of our short trip there. After the ceremony, which was in a ballroom due to rainfall, there was a cocktail hour at the bar, then the reception with dinner and dancing back at the ballroom.

Look to Becky's right in the ceremony photo—you can see Monkeyrotica (preparing to bolt)!

Me and Monkey

Karen and Bryce

Jimmy and Eddy

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Missing Weegee

Weegee & Dash
Originally uploaded by nylonthread
(You've seen this photo before, but it's the best to illustrate my point.) Dash likes Weegee. He's just not as good at expressing himself as Rosie.

Rosie's the one who begs to bring him to the dinner table and to join us in the bathroom for bathtime and to sit with us while reading books. She wants him to sit on her knee or arm, to let her scratch his head, to kiss his feathers. Rosie learned to whistle expressly so that she could communicate better with parrots. She obviously loves Weegee.

Dash on the other hand, jumps around and throws things at him (which freaks Weegee out and makes him flap away in terror), he pokes at him, pulls his tailfeathers, splashes water at him during baths. However, he does cluck at him and want to give him pats on the head, too. I was unsure, exactly, of how Dash felt about our pet.

Weegee is at my parents' house until Sunday. Last night was our first night without him in the house. Guess who of the two children was bawling, weeping for us to go get our bird friend and bring him back home?


What I described above is how young boys express love, I guess.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Monkeyrotica & I have a sitter tonight. We're enjoying cocktails at
Cheesetique in Del Ray, waiting on our friends Liz & Nestor. So

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Bald Eagles on the Potomac

as seen in the paper!
Originally uploaded by philliefan99
I live about a mile from the Potomac River where for over a year now, it's been possible to make bald eagle sightings! The drive along George Washington Parkway skirts the Potomac for most of its route and offers some fantastically serene views (one needs serenity while commuting among the maniac drivers in Northern Virginia). Last summer, I recall pointing out a lone eagle to the kids on many occasions, perched on a tall-but-dead tree right at the river's edge. Heck, I don't think I'd ever seen an eagle in the wild before myself! My kids have no idea what a treat this is.

For the last couple of months, I've noticed photographers in this area at all times of day, in the most frigid weather, with tons of heavy photography equipment and long, telephoto lenses. It wasn't until one day last month that I decided to cast my view (hard to do at 45 MPH) toward the angle their lenses were pointed. There, in the crux of a large tree on the edge of Alexandria's Belle Haven Country Club golf course, was a large, sloppy, twiggy bird's nest!! With a bald eagle hanging out on a branch a few feet above! Wait, if it's an eagle's nest, does that make it an aerie? (nope, only if we are at high altitude.) According to news sources, the eagle pair has been nicknamed "Alex" and "Belle."

I'm pretty impressed with these goings-on, especially since the bald eagle was almost extinct twenty years ago. C'mon, little eaglets!
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